August 11, 2015

Drop Your Anchor!

Hey Pretty Lady,

Guess what? I have a surprise for you. Do you love surprises as much as I do? I hope so because this is a good one. It's a surprise guest post. 

Today's guest writer has been in my life for six years now and I adore her. I was her youth leader many moons away and the level of wisdom this post shows is far beyond her years. So I am going to do you a favor and stop rambling so you can soak up all the goodness and brilliance of this post. And be sure to comment and show my lovely Laura some love!
I am honored to have been asked to write for Amber’s blog, and I am so excited for you guys to read it! At first when Amber asked me about writing as a guest for her blog, I had no idea what I was going to write about even when she told me it could be about anything! She even suggested makeup or fashion. Which if you know me, (even just a little bit) this would have been a piece of cake! (Especially the makeup part!) ..But it didn’t take long for God to speak to me. It became very clear and evident on what He wanted me to write about. And if I’m being honest I knew it would require a lot time and effort . I gave so many excuses but I couldn’t get this topic out of my head! Part of me wanted to take the easy route, but I know there’s someone out there that needs to hear this. God really spoke to me over these past few weeks and I hope it speaks to you just as much as it has to me! xoxo “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”
An anchor has a very important role when it comes to a ship. The main purpose of an anchor is to keep the ship safe and secure when bad weather comes. It can also help control the ship and keep it in the location it was originally intended to be in. In Hebrews chapter 6, Paul talks about Jesus being the anchor of our soul.” In our lives there will be storms that come to blow us off our course or cast us against the rocks. It can get scary and unpredictable. Winds and waves of discouragement, doubt and spiritual attack by the enemy can rise and cause us to drift.

There will also be times where we begin to drift, but it’s so subtle that we hardly even notice the movement. Before you know it, you are in a completely different position or place. Somewhere you never wanted to be. You are far from where your anchor was originally established. You ask yourself questions like, “How did I end up here?” (I’ve been there myself.) If you allow Christ to become your anchor, you won’t be moved or shaken. Our anchor is the Rock unmovable. No matter the force of wind or how hard the waves crash. He will sustain you and you will find security in Him.
I encourage you to take hold of the anchor that is steadfast and secure. It will sustain in the worst of storms. Maybe you happen to be in a storm right now or there’s a visible storm on the horizon. I want you to remember that Christ will provide your steady anchor, if you will allow Him to. Focus your attention to a God who is our rock, not on the storm. “He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress. I shall not be moved.” Psalm 62:6
The quote I started out with comes from Hebrews 6:19. There are two qualities to this anchor of hope; firm and secure. He’s making it perfectly clear to us just how dependable this anchor is.
Think about this quote…

“In order to realize the worth of the anchor,
one needs to feel the stress of the storm.”

Our faith is put to the test during the storms of life. It’s easy to have big faith when everything is going your way. But what about when it’s not? Our faith is best demonstrated through our biggest and deepest trials in life.
When storms arise we must take ahold this anchor. No situation is too hard to handle. GOD IS OUR ANCHOR! What troubles can compare with that? When the storms arise it can become difficult to stay calm and keep courage. So here are some ways to keep calm when storms arise… DON’T DRIFT.
Many times when the wind and waves become too much to handle we give way to it and allow the current to take us. The waves beat you back and forth and you are led wherever they take you. We let go of our goals. We forget all the goodness God has brought us and where we are headed. We forget what we value most and.. we drift. DON’T THROW ANYTHING OVERBOARD On top of drifting we begin discarding things in our life. When we find ourselves in our deepest trials we are tempted to throw the things that are important to us overboard. We are under great levels of pressure and want to get rid of it all. We run out on our dreams. We give up on our relationships. We throw it all overboard.  
DON’T GIVE UP In extreme storms we may get to the point of desperation and we throw out our last little bit of hope we had in us overboard. May I remind you that hope is not a wishful thought but a confident expectancy and certainty! Have hope that what God has done in the past, He will certainly do in the future. Perhaps this is the situation you are in right now. You’ve come to the point where you’ve started to throw things overboard and reached a point of despair. You need to drop your anchor! The safest thing for you to do, no matter what situation you may be facing, is to drop your anchor! Put your trust and hope in our firm and secure God!
Maybe you can’t see God through this storm but, storms can NEVER hide us from God. He is right here with you. You may not see Him but He certainly sees you. “Never will I leave nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) This means that we will never have to face a storm by ourselves. He is the anchor you can fully trust in.

You are here on this earth for a significant purpose. He has a specific plan for you. A plan that only you can carry out. “You were born for such a time as this.” Esther 4:14 Storms are temporary. Some may result in a setback, but nothing can change God’s plan and destiny over your life. His plans go far beyond the storms you may face. Don’t focus more on your problems than your purpose. You may lose “cargo.” You may lose the ship, but you will make it. God’s promises will always come through.


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August 1, 2015

The Trendy, Practical Girl's Guid to Jet Setting

My move to Australia last July has forced me to get pretty acquainted with the inside of many a airports and airplanes. Twenty one hours on a plane and logging over 24 hours of travel time just to get one way is still not my favorite jam, but I have learned to navigate it better. 

I have certainly gained some insight on plane necessities and how to make what can be a  long flight a bit more enjoyable and emerging from the flight not looking like Brittney Spears circa 2008 a hot mess. Now, I don't arrive off the plane after a 21/22 hour flight looking like Kate Middelton {:who does?:} but I can manage to go out to eat with the fam without too much embarrassment. 

What to Wear

I usually plan my airport outfit days in advance. I want to be cute, but I am not willing to sacrifice my comfort on a long plane ride to look Duchess Kate-ish. My traveling outfit always involves a scarf and cardigan of some sort, even in summer, because the temperature on planes can be very tricky. It is like you are having a heat stroke before you take off and hypothermia sets in while you are in flight. Sometimes I wear leggings on the plane or I opt for my most comfortable pair of jeans. I also have learned that loose fitting clothes are my favorite. Flying often causes your body to swell, so tight clothes can be uncomfortable. I pick shoes that are not complicated to get on and off with security lines and I just like to take off my shoes as I sleep on my 14 hour plane ride. 

In My Carry-On {:Overhead Bag:}
 I usually take two carry-ons. My carry-on suitcase and my backpack as my personal item, because this girl uses every ounce of that 50lbs in my suitcase. If you are struggling with the weight limit of your main suitcase that is going under the plane I suggest putting heavier items {:shoes, jeans, etc.:} in your carry-on, overhead bag. Most planes there is not a weight limit on this bag so take advantage, but make sure if all fits without using the expander on your suitcase to ensure i will fit in the overhead bin.

In My "Personal Item" Bag

I usually take a bookbag instead of a purse just because I can fit more in it and it is more comfortable lugging around the airport. I load this bag with my necessities:

- an empty water bottle {:you can't take water through the security point but you can take an empty bottle and fill it at the water fountains tor water stations throughout airports - I am not about $4 for a bottle of water:}
- snacks {:tlong gone are the days of complimentary pretzels - so come prepared:}
- entertainment {:books, iPads, earphones:}
- wallet
- passport if necessary {:if not a passport make sure you have some sort of photo ID for check-in:}
- necessities bag {:more on that below:}
- phone/phone charger {:with an outlet converter if you are flying internationally:}
- ear plugs {:if you plan on sleeping on the plane I find these to be a MUST - they block out so much noise it's glorious:}
- neck pillow

The Necessity of a Necessities Bag
I rarely go out in public without some sort of make-up on, but on airplanes are my exception. Traveling can wreck havoc on your skin and I am not down with that. And when you are on a plane for 20+ hours and your travel time equals over a 24 hour period some hygiene products are necessary {:but I find these helpful to have on any flight just for freshening up:}.

- hair tie {:for obv reasons and why not make it a sparkly one:}
- Tylenol/Advil {:airplanes can often give people headaches and traveling with one is no bueno:}
- chapstick {:the plane sucks all of the moisture from your skin:}
- deodorant
- moisturizer {:I keep face and hand moisturizer with me:}
- compact {just in case you want a little makeup before you see your family or friends at the airport:}

Some items not pictured that I put in this bag are:
- toothbrush and travel size toothpaste
- makeup remover wipes {:if you do wear makeup on the plane take it off before you go to sleep with one of these - I also use this as a facial cleanser before I get off the plane and apply my makeup:}

Now it's your turn. What are your airport/airplane necessities?
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